Monday, 17 April 2017

NVC, Food and conversations.

In my journey of understanding food and my body, I went for a 10 day mentor ship to Ahimsagram, in pursuit of deepening my understanding of healthy food.

Ahimsagram is a community space in Jaipur working on sustainable living, Non - violent communication and sociocracy.
Apart from cooking delicious and healthy food in the kitchen, one important thing I learnt was NVC, food and conversations.

 Its said that in India, every house has a different culture, that is very true and when it comes to food, every individual has a different culture. How when tastes, preferences and habits are different can we have conversations on food. When it comes to food, the aspect of health and understanding our body is also very important.
There are so many different understanding of food in the world, when someone doesn't eat anything that grows under the soil, someone doesn't drink milk, while other has to eat animal meat in lunch.

In my journey of understanding food, I have come across many theories of food, many different cultures. I am myself confused on whats true and which one to follow. I now realize, that all are true but its up to me to find out which food culture is true for my body.
Another very important connection we have with food is emotions, food is a medium of celebrations, conveying love and care, comforting in sadness and point of connection with people.
While at Ahimsagram, I learnt an interesting thing about conversations around food. How can I use NVC to understand and talk about food.
While staying at my grandmother's house I experienced an interesting situation around food.

At home, milk is a source of calcium and drinking milk means good health.
Now this was problematic for me, I am currently experimenting with reducing my consumption of milk due to multiple reasons. One being the concept of Veganism which says human are not meant to consume milk, Another being the way our dairy system works, The fact that the milk at home came from Amul dairy was not comforting for me.

At first I tried explaining them why I don't want milk, but I was counter argued and wasn't able to convince them. I then obliged to what they said and drank milk but after a conversation with Shammi Nanda on this I discovered interesting things.

When I looked at it with the perspective of NVC, I realized that at home their need was to show and express love and care for me. They wanted to play a role in nurturing me.
When went deeper,  I saw that as its in my nature not to be demanding and eat whatever is made, not  demand for things to be done for me so they felt disconnected from me. They felt they are not taking care of me and giving me what I want even though they were.

When I started asking things, saying I want this to be cooked at home, making them specially cook something for me. I acknowledged their need of feeling that they have done something to care and nurture me. When this happened, when I said I don't want to drink milk they agreed.

This was just one experience but now I see how instead of feeling uncomfortable with food differences I can understand it through NVC. This milk example I did without directly talking to them, but I think having conversations around food would be very interesting.

Another thing I learnt was when I talk about food opinions I talk in interpretation rather than observation. Example, milk is bad for us, we shouldn't drink milk is a interpretation but when I share it in observations or facts that I read a book called ' Milk the silent killer' where they said that the digestion system on humans are not made to digest cow milk. This was really helpful because when it comes to milk, I am also in a dilemma.

I also read a book 'Eat by choice not by habit'.
This book gave me interesting insight on how we can use NVC to talk to ourselves. In my journey of food I struggle with my own food cravings  but this book says to acknowledge your need when your are facing a craving. This was something new and interesting for me.

My time at Ahimsagram was very enriching in moving ahead in my journey of healthy food, I may not have learned many recipes but I learnt interesting things on having conversation with myself and others on food,

I also did an mini project of baking wholesome Ragi cookies. I thoroughly enjoyed making very yummy and healthy cookies and even selling a few:)

At the bakery, making ragi cookies:)

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful blog post, I have been looking for ways to understand what does my body require and what to eat which makes me feel content and happy. Thank you Asawari for sharing this with us. I will definitely read 'Eat by choice not by habit' for sure. Looking forward to hear more from you in future.